The Minority Chamber of Commerce brings networking and advocacy to small businesses and nonprofits in the region

Ardmore’s minority populations thrive alongside the thriving small business community in our area. Nationally, racially and ethnically diverse populations make up about 21% of rural areas — and census records show that those same populations produced 83% of rural America’s growth from 2000 to 2010.

As these trends continue, a new group of business and nonprofit leaders have come together to create the first minority chamber of commerce for the greater Ardmore area. Members of the group have been discussing various business and networking needs in the region for several months.

The group’s first meeting was held virtually on Saturday afternoon, but the support of the newly created entity is real.

“I’m still learning,” said Jay Willis, founder of local nonprofit Real Dads Do Real Things. “Building this together will help us qualify for more support.”

“We’re a home-based business,” said Allegra Willis, owner of Ray of Sunshine Sweets and Treats. “My goal is to help Ardmore grow, for the future and for our children. That’s my hope for this House.

Making improvements to the community of small business and nonprofit leaders involves more than creating new businesses, but also requires support and advocacy in order to sustain them.

Enterprising queer, Latinx, Black, and Indigenous entrepreneurs are launching businesses and nonprofits that breathe new life into their own communities — and create better livelihoods for their owners and employees.

“Being part of a group like this makes it easy to network,” said Renada Carr, stylist at Hair by J & Company. “I have some great ideas that I would like to present to our community.”

Plans for the Minority House include a newsletter and public business listings for minority-owned organizations. Currently, the group is recruiting new members and expanding its online and in-person presence. For more information, contact them at or by email at [email protected]

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